Jun 20, 2012

Distance today = 35.26 km; Total distance = 8069.91 km; Location = Duluth – 46 47.078′ N, 92 06.077′ W; Start time = 0901, Finish time = 1435


Well, that was a day to remember!!! I managed to arrive in Duluth the day of their worst floods in over forty years.

The rain overnight had been intense, and it continued through the morning. I wasn’t looking forward to leaving the motel, but hit the road anyway. Given the conditions, and the fact that I felt it was too dangerous to run on any dirt roads, I decided to keep the day relatively short.

After a short while, I saw a dog run out of a road that led to an animal shelter. It clearly had no road sense, and was running in front of cars as it bounded down the highway. I couldn’t catch it (despite turning my watch off and giving it a try), so I went in and informed the staff of the shelter. I don’t know whether they ended up catching it or not.

Soon after, the rains really started again. I ran through innumerous sections of road that were under water. Well, “waded” is a more correct term. And then I discovered my phone had suffered water damage, and I couldn’t make calls or use most other things on it.

There wasn’t much I could do, other than continue as planned. So I ran down to the shores of Lake Superior, which was the main aim of my day. I saw so many sections of road that had been washed away. There is a steep escarpment leading up from the shore of Lake Superior. The rain water had come hurtling down this escarpment like a waterfall, washing away all sorts of things. The worst of the damage seemed to be around the fast food strip, with Pizza Hut and Subway really copping it. It was a pity my phone was not working at that time, as I wanted to video both the damage and Lake Superior. (I did work out later how to get the video working).

I finally made it to the city centre, where I concluded my day of running. However, the road between the city and the motel was under water and closed, so Carmel couldn’t come and pick me up. So I grabbed a cab, which dropped me at the flooded road block. It was about a mile from the motel, so I had to run the rest of the way, after wading through the floodwaters. That was the second time today I covered ground that didn’t count.

I did manage a milestone today – 5,000 miles. So, to the sound of The Proclaimers, and in a Scottish accent, I would run 5,000 miles, and I would run 11,300 more, just to be the man who ran 16,300 miles to fall down on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Sorry about the meter and timing.  You get the idea though.

I really hope the road into the city is open tomorrow, as I have to get back in there to recommence my run from where I stopped today. The forecast is encouraging, so fingers crossed.